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Shiro-an – White bean paste


So for a veeeery long time I’ve been planning to make Wagashi…. in particular Nerikiri Wagashi.

After a lot of research I learnt what these small pieces of art are made from, purchased white beans and ordered muslin cloth from Amazon (for quite a price – shipping was more expensive, but unfortunately I couldn’t find it in Prague). When I finally found the time and gathered the energy, I started the long and tiring process of making Shiro-an, white bean paste, the base ingredient of a lot of Wagashi.

I used these two recipes & I wanted to use a recipe that was as precise as possible, to make sure that I will make good white bean paste.

Carefully checked the beans, soaked them for over 12 hours, cooked them for another two, constantly exchanging water, and around 11pm I started mashing them through the flat sieve that we have at home. Since it was a Friday I already started to be really tired and exhausted and throughout the whole process I hope that it will work out well. I used navy beans so the process was a little more difficult since the were a lot of skins from the beans. By midnight I was exhausted and my hands were sore from the process of squishing the beans through…. 1am…. still not done with getting the beans through the sieve…. few minutes later I start to give up and think I have enough bean paste. Coming to the last stages, I strain the bean water through the muslin cloth and finally get around to cook it with sugar.

2am… to my great joy I’ve succeed making shiro-an. Tastes quite good – more on the sweet side, but seeing the final product I feel proud and satisfied.

Step 1 on my road to making wagashi is done. I was only disappointed that the amount of bean paste is much less than I originally expected it to be.

Since then I’ve only divided it into separate portions and put it into the freezer. Hopefully soon I’ll get around to making the final small pieces of art. 🙂


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